Ryanair Strikes Affecting Flights Around Europe & Refusing EC 261/2004 Compensation

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Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal and Spain have been on two day strike this week affecting more than 500 flights and 50,000 passengers so far.

Ryanair

The airline says that all the affected passengers have been dealt with but many travelers disagree. The airline also claims that this wildcat strike would be an extraordinary circumstance and thus no cash compensation per EC 261/2004 apply which is not correct.

Here’s an excerpt from the Times (access their piece here):

Thousands of passengers delayed by the biggest strike in Ryanair’s history will miss out on compensation after the budget airline pledged to reject all claims.

The Irish carrier risked a clash with Britain’s aviation watchdog after insisting that compensation was not due because unions were acting “unreasonably”.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) insisted that payouts of €250 (£222), which are enshrined in EU law, did apply on strike days.

EU court has rules that wildcat strikes by airline employees is not an “extraordinary circumstance” as they are within the airline’s control.

Ryanair also tries to relocate pilots and cabin crew from Ireland to Poland as Bloomberg reports (access their piece here):

Ryanair Holdings Plc is warning as many as 300 pilots and cabin crew to relocate to Poland or risk losing their jobs in Dublin.

The airline said Wednesday it’ll cut its Irish fleet to 24 aircraft from 30, blaming pilot strikes for hurting bookings, fares and consumer confidence, and that letters have been sent informing more than 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew that their services may not be needed from Oct. 28.

Conclusion

As Ryanair is a LCC and doesn’t have interline agreements in place with other airlines, affected passengers that cannot be rebooked on other Ryanair services need to purchase replacement tickets by themselves and request compensation from the airline along with the 250 euro delay comp that Ryanair tries to deny.

It is really unfortunate that Ryanair denies valid compensation from passengers. I hope that appropriate national enforcement bodies will take action against the airline.

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